One popular television program of recent years in our home is What Not to Wear. Based in New York City, this program features Stacy and Clinton, the two co-hosts who enter people’s homes, raid their closets, and tell them what “works” and what doesn’t. In particular, they’re skilled at showing people the fashions that look good on them based on their body type.
Men and women all over the USA are on the waiting list to get advice from Stacy and Clinton—advice they feel will make them better looking and more appealing to others. As a result, they’ll feel better about themselves.
Behavior verses in the New Testament aren’t much different from the advice that Stacy and Clinton give. We’re told to “put on love” and “put on Christ” and “put on compassion” much like the guests on the TV show are told what to wear. In addition, we’re told to toss away attitudes and behaviors that aren’t profitable, just as Stacy and Clinton hold up certain outfits to the mirror and then toss them aside, saying, “That looks awful!”Some clothes simply don’t fit, while others fit just right and look great. In the same way, some attitudes and behaviors are not “fitting for saints” (Eph. 5:3 NKJV), while others are the perfect fit for God’s children.
Does this sound like oppressive religion to you? It’s not in the least! Throughout the Epistles, we’re just discovering the most fashionable way for saints to dress. And, hey, who doesn’t want to travel in heavenly style?
So next time you come across that passage in Ephesians or Romans or wherever about “what to do,” remember your identity as a child of God. With that in mind, know that God is simply pointing out the clothes that fit you well:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Col. 3:12)
(from the bestselling book, “God Without Religion”)